Second Chances and Second Street Fitness

When the local appliance factory shut down, Donovan Cusey was forced to reconsider his future. After 13 years as a forklift operator, he had never imagined he could own his own business. Now he runs his gym in downtown Webster City, IA, while also working full time as an RV repair technician. For Donovan the long hours are a small price to pay for the opportunity to provide a better life for his family.

Iowa, in general, is just a bunch of hard working families that do what they need to do to survive and Webster City is no different.

We get up and we work hard. Because that’s what we know out here. The routine.

But sometimes life changes.

My name is Donovan Cusey. I’m a RV Tech at Good Life RV, and I am the owner of Second Street Fitness here in Webster City.

Electrolux had been here forever. Nobody ever thought it was going to get up and leave. And you understand big business is like that, but man, did it affect a lot of people.

I was riding around on a forklift for thirteen years and you think, “This is safe and I’m content.”

And then, all of a sudden one day, you find out that you’re getting a change in your life, whether you want it or not.

It was scary. I’m a single parent.

How was I going to take care of my family? How was I going to make sure that they had everything that they needed?

But you put your faith in God, and you take a step forward, and the next day, you take another step, and you just keep trying to do what you need to do to provide for your family.

And really, it was the best thing that happened to me, because it got me out of – out of being in a rut. It got me thinking of bigger possibilities I mean it gave me hope that I could, one day, open up my gym…

I was afraid this place wouldn’t open, ‘cause we had… numerous setbacks.

We were supposed to be open in July of ’16, and things kind of got pushed back, and then we were going to open in August, and got pushed back, and…

I had to invest a… a lot more money… than I had planned to. Almost double…

I was scared to take that step out because of what it could mean to my family if it failed. I mean ’cause I was putting everything on the line.

You get to a point in your life to where you can either, let things happen to you, or you can – take control of it.

So I took the leap. December 17, 2016, we opened our doors.

Within the first three weeks, we had like 80 people, and so, it was like, “Wow.”

And we’ve still got more people coming in.

We made it. We got the doors open and it’s been a success since.

I work at Good Life from 8:00 to noon, and during my lunch hour, I come to the gym. And then, for that hour, I might train somebody here, and then I go back to the Good Life. And then, after 5:00, when I’m done there, I come back to the gym, and I’m here ’til, usually, 9:00, 9:30 at night.

Eventually I want to be working at the gym full time. But working the Good Life right now is great, because it’s reliable.

I learned my work ethic from my dad. He worked long hours to support his family, so that’s what I do for mine.

Success, for me, doesn’t have anything to with money. I’m not a very money-driven person. If I can provide a better life for my family, that’s success.

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